Category Archives: health

Blood and Weight Loss

It was blood testing again today. They are bleeding me weekly as my results are failing to impress. There’s probably a pun or two in there somewhere, bearing in mind that I’m not much good at bleeding and am therefore bleeding weakly. I’m also getting bleeding irritated at having to go in every week.

This week I managed to provide a sample after being stabbed in the arm just the twice. This is better than recent results and I’m glad to report I hardly felt a thing.

I thought I’d get weighed while I was there, as I wanted to check if I was actually losing weight or whether the slack trousers were merely an illusion.

It turns out that I have actually lost nine pounds in the last four weeks.

I’ve not used any fancy diets, and done very little exercise, just cut out bread, potatoes, pasta and rice. And cut back severely on chocolate and cakes. I’ve also started cutting down on portion sizes. Simple things, small steps, and so far it’s producing reasonable results.

 

 

 

Thinking of Food and Health

We switched the heating on low a couple of nights ago and had the gas fire on last night because it’s getting a bit chilly. The fire was very dusty and didn’t do my throat a lot of good. At around six o’clock this morning I woke up wheezing like a pair of Victorian bellows with a painful cough and a dry throat.

It mainly passed within an hour, and I’m feeling pretty good now, though still a little tender in the throat.

This year is really proving to be a bit of a trial from the health point of view.

The good news is that in general I’m feeling much healthier than I have for some time. I attribute this to large quantities of turmeric and the new low carb diet (which mainly means no chips and no bread). The advantage with not eating bread is that you don’t eat any burgers or sugary spreads either. In truth the feeling of well-being may be coincidence, but by claiming credit for it I’m able to feel both healthy and virtuous.

I’m now looking at articles about superfoods and foods for winter. I’ve been a bit lax about this sort of thing over the last year so it’s time to tighten up.

Overnight oats with fruit for breakfast tomorrow, vegetable soup for lunch and Cottage Pie for tea (incorporating onions, peas and carrots) with sweet potato topping, cabbage and Brussels sprouts. I can probably work lentils and tinned tomatoes in too, so that should do wonders for my vegetable intake.

 

Modern Life!

It was a beautiful morning as we drove to work, with great light quality, plenty of potential pictures and a superb sky. Of course, I couldn’t stop to take any of the photos, and I hadn’t taken my camera anyway. I had to drop Julia off at 8,30 and get to a meeting for 9.00 so there would, I decided, be no use for a camera.

As I pulled up for the 9.00 meeting, I noticed a distinct lack of life and cars around the house. The mystery (OK, not much of a mystery) was soon solved by reference to my phone – the appointment had been cancelled by a text in the early hours of the morning.

Don’t you just love modern life?

Later, whilst watching TV, another sad comment on modern life, I saw a quiz contestant who was training for a very unusual job. She was doing a web-based training course to become a professional cuddler.

Yes, it’s a proper thing, with a professional association and everything.

Just when you think you’re catching up with modern life (and I did have avocado for breakfast) something like this crops up. I’m off for my rearranged meeting now, though I may spend a moment banging my head on the wall.

 

A Day With Few High Points

I’ve just spent several minutes trying to remove an unwanted comma from a piece of work. It’s frustrating when you can’t get a computer to do what you want it to do.

It was even worse when I realised the “comma” was a mark on the screen. Laptop screens seem to attract more detritus than the screens on ordinary computers.

That’s been one of the highlights of the day.

The second was my blood test. The blood was not flowing well today and it felt like they were having to dig it out. When they removed the needle it suddenly decided to flow. Fortunately it hit the chair arm rather than me. Having changed specially for the visit I was glad that it didn’t go on my clothes.

It seems I passed the blood sugar test two weeks ago. Unfortunately I had a phone call from the anticoagulant service this afternoon to tell me that things had not gone so well. I need to go down for testing again next week: they do that when things don’t go well.

The final high point was sitting in a chair making demands for constant hydration (tea). Number One Son is back from Portugal and has been working well with the kettle. He even put a couple of sausages and some beans together for a light lunch.

I had to pay for this attention by listening to his views on nutrition and where my diet is going wrong. As his first degree is in Sports Science, including nutrition, he has the moral high ground.

Apart from that, I just sat here gently recovering and shouting at the television.

Friday. Guess where I am?

OK, so I’m actually writing it on Sunday, but cast your mind back – where have I been on the last dozen Fridays?

Yes, in the Mencap garden again, drinking tea. It was nice and warm in the sun, though chilly in the shade.

There were Great Tits on the newly erected feeder, though not after I raised the camera. Same goes for the Robins singing in the trees, the Magpies perching in high places. A flock of about 60 birds kept flying  round the main building – Julia has a theory they are after the warmth.

I had a typo in there for a moment – Magpires. They are post-apocalyptic blood-sucking crows.

So, in the garden, drinking tea, trying to photograph birds and spelling badly. It’s not how I imagined my life developing, but there are worse places to be.

Julia has given me instructions and I am now gathering my equipment as next week we will be assembling the example nest box and marking them up for the group to build.

Saturday started earlier than usual, as Julia was filling in for someone. I then went to visit a jeweller and bought ingredients for the evening meal. These are two different activities, and an example of sloppy writing.  I visited the jeweller and then went to the supermarket to buy the ingredients for our evening meal.

It will be Julia’s birthday soon and I need to find a present. So far I’m not having much success.

In the afternoon I went to visit my Dad with Number One son. We did a jigsaw, played Beetle and lost to my sister at Snakes and Ladders.

Does Number One son realise this will be his destiny, I wonder?

On Friday (moving back in time again) I watched Dr Phil on Countdown. He was talking about measures we should take to ensure continuing good health. The mnemonic to remember is clangers.  This year has shown I can easily slip into bad habits so I’m going to ensure that I don’t do the same again. If it means I have to be nice to people I suppose it’s a  sacrifice worth making.

It’s very much along the lines of Green Care, Green Gym, Blue Sky Hospital or whatever else you want to call it. You get out, meet people, exercise, learn and end up better for it.

Back at home (Saturday evening) we reheated the casserole and ate it with samphire.  This was, as they warn, salty, but also crispy and fresh. It reminded me of a time when I was young and broke. I picked samphire when camping, boiled it and ate an entire mess tin of it to save money.  Today that would be a disaster, but my youthful digestion had no problem.

It was a bit too salty for my taste at the time and it has taken me 40 years to eat it again. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it this time. round.

Down at the Doctor

First – blood test at 11.40. I managed it just in time after doing a few errands round town.

Despite the experience of the last blood test, which made the nurse more nervous than I was, everything went well. I hardly felt the needle go in and next thing I knew we had a tube of blood. I’ve had no phone call this afternoon so I assume I’m within the correct range and will have at least another three weeks before the next test.

That is good.

Then, after a few more errands, some washing up and cooking a pan of carrot and ginger soup, it was time for my 4.30 doctor’s appointment.

It was the follow up to a letter from hospital about my heart scan. No problem, just a tweaking of tablets. Clearly it wasn’t cause for concern as the hospital had waited two months to send the letter.

I assume the delay is calculated to allow the Grim Reaper to balance supply and demand.

I took my list with me.

We did an Epworth Test to examine my propsensity for falling asleep in front of the TV. I was within the normal band and thus it’s another thing to put down to the aging process.

We will be moving on from there and looking at ways of stopping my nightly trips to the toilet. This will be after I have a month of increasing the dosage of heart pills so we’re only changing one thing at a time.

After five years of disturbed sleep another month shouldn’t harm me. The question is whether I am waking up and wanting the toilet, or wanting the toilet and waking up. There is a subtle difference.

The doctor thinks it may be prostate-related.

I’m hoping that something happens in the next few weeks that diverts her attention to a different conclusion.

If Julia, for instance, notes that I am waking myself by snoring we might still be able to blame sleep apnoea for me waking up. That would be a nuisance, but I would be able to keep my trousers on.

I also dispensed with the asthma test advice that was printed on my last prescription – seems it’s not meant for me.

Weight is holding steady. That’s sort of good news. But not good enough. More exercise, less food.

So, two visits and I’m pretty much in the clear, with no new problems for the moment. I am feeling quite relieved.

 

All Went Well

Well, that was easy.

I arrived in plenty of time, sat down, opened my book and was called through before I’d had time to read the first page.

Of course, they didn’t want me, they just wanted to move me to the next waiting area. This was crammed with men of a certain age, mostly with a slightly haunted air. This was due, I found out, to the next instruction.

“We’re going to do a flow test today, so I need to ask you to have five or six glasses of water.”

She pointed to the water fountain and left me to it. The slightly haunted air of my fellow drinkers was now explained. Take a man with a dodgy bladder, fill him with water, and it’s not exactly a recipe for comfort and jollity.

I was able to read plenty more of my book, though I wasn’t exactly able to concentrate as the water worked its way through.

Eventually, as I was beginning to feel a touch urgent, I was called through by the consultant.

All is good.

He turned out, despite his formidable qualifications and reputation, to be a warm and charming man with a sense of humour. This is not, as I have discovered over the years, always true of consultants.

He discharged me, told me to see the GP about the disturbed nights, thanked me for my patience and shook my hand.

I shook back then made off in search of a toilet. I may have avoided the flow test, but I still had six glasses of water to unload…